Matte Painting Tips – Realistic Environments & Landscapes

Matte paintings can be used to extend a location and create a world that otherwise would not exist.

For my latest tutorial I decided to try my hand at creating a landscape once again. You can find my previous attempt (with breakdown) here. After beginning a replay of Rise of the Tomb Raider, I was inspired by the environments and set pieces featured in the narrative. Although the above video isn’t a full tutorial, I go over some important points that can be applied to any matte painting you create:

  • The importance of planning what your scene will look like, and finding appropriate imagery
  • Matching lighting between live action and the terrain
  • Splitting imagery to fake depth
  • Maintaining realistic 3D camera movement
  • Technique for creating a dolly zoom


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